CFNN Reporter Ava Nelson
Ads are ubiquitous on social media and are commonly used by corporations to bombard users with requests to buy products. These ads dominate many people’s social media feeds and are seen constantly in our everyday lives. Since the average teenager spends over 7 hours a day on electronic devices (not including during the school day), imagine how often teens are being exposed to social media ads.
Since teens are often exposed to these ads, what are we really exposing them to? There are many ads promoting weight loss items such as diets, shakes, and workouts that can be severely damaging for teens who are still growing. Some of these weight loss ads are promoted by major social media influencers!
These influencers have a large impact on how teens on social media see themselves, so when they see these influencers promoting these dangerous companies they trust the companies. Social media in general has possibly been influencing eating disorders and self-worth since it began, and targeted ads are just another way we are tearing down the self-worth and confidence of countless Americans. It creates an extremely toxic diet culture.
Another problem with these ads is privacy. Companies buy and sell your information to make targeted ads. Companies often do this when we accept terms and conditions on sights without reading them or accept cookies on the internet. These ads also take over many people’s feeds and are constantly appearing and advertising the same items which can become quite obnoxious.
There are definitely positives to ads on social media platforms, such as helping you find companies you want to support, places to donate, products you want, and connecting you with things you may be interested in, but in the end, the cons far outweigh the benefits.
Ads on social media can be dangerous and bothersome to the people to whom are targeted. Toxic diet culture negatively influences our population. Breaches in privacy we didn’t realize we were allowing put our personal information at risk. Annoying ads and advertisements overwhelm our screens. While there are definitely benefits, there are many more negatives for social media ads that we should all be more aware of and think more about the next time we see an ad on social media.